Airlander Returns to the Skies

We are delighted to announce a successful flight of the Airlander 10 this evening (Wednesday 10 May). All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site. The Airlander was taken off its mooring mast at 17:20 and took off at 17:28. It flew for a total of 180 minutes before landing at 20:15 and was secured safely on the mast at 20:20.

“It was truly amazing to be back in the air. I loved every minute of the flight and the Airlander itself handled superbly. I am eager to get back into the cockpit and take her flying again,” said Chief Test Pilot, Dave Burns.
On board were Airlander’s two Test Pilots; Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns and Experimental Test Pilot, Simon Davies.

This test flight recommenced the Flight Test Programme of the Airlander 10, which started on August 17, 2016. During each of its 3 phases, the Airlander will perform more tasks and be permitted to fly further away from its base in Cardington.

This marks the return to the skies of the world’s largest aircraft, the Airlander 10, and draws a line under the heavy landing it experienced last August. The Airlander has now flown three times in addition to a successful flight as HAV-304 during the US Army’s Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle program in 2012. There were considerable modifications since it was the HAV-304 and the Hybrid Air Vehicles team have made a number of additional modifications since last August, the main ones visible today being a new more powerful and more manoeuvrable Mobile Mooring Mast (MMM), and the additional “landing feet” of the Auxiliary Landing System (ALS).

There were three Test Objectives during today’s flight, all of which were successfully achieved:
  • To conduct a full test flight – i.e. complete a safe take-off, flight and landing of the aircraft.
  • To establish basic handling characteristics of Airlander within a well-defined flight envelope including assessment of the new ALS.
  • To collect flight performance data, such as handling, airspeed and all vehicle systems, for post-flight analysis. (This increases the understanding of the aircraft’s performance, capabilities and operating envelope.) 
The ALS performed as expected on landing, and the Flight Test Team were very pleased with the initial analysis of this new addition to Airlander’s landing system. 
 
Ultimately the Airlander 10 will break the mould of aviation, providing an ultra-stable, ultra-powerful and ultra-long endurance platform that will be useful in a huge number of roles from search and rescue, to border control, coastguarding, crowd monitoring, security, filming, academic research and filming.  There will also be passenger variants for the ultimate flying experience and eventually Hybrid Air Vehicles will fulfil a crucial role in point-to-point cargo transportation to remote areas.
 
“This is a great testament to the tenacity and ingenuity of the team of engineers at Hybrid Air Vehicles, who are continually pushing the boundaries of aviation with this amazing aircraft,” said Technical Director, Mike Durham. 
 
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd was recently accepted onto London Stock Exchange’s ELITE programme for high growth companies looking to seek a listing on the Stock Market.
 
The next few flights are likely to be at least a week or two apart, in order to give time for a full analysis of the data collected on the flight. 
 
About Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd

Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best of the characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport.

Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally-friendly. They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments. Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded both UK and European grant funding to support the Airlander project. In addition the company has carried out two ‘crowdfunding’ rounds and is proud to have more than 2000 shareholders without whom return to flight would not have been possible.

The Airlander project was selected for funding through a dedicated SME Instrument of Horizon 2020, which the European Commission uses to invest in and support high growth and highly innovative small businesses. The technology is also fully in line with activities under the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020, which aims to boost the competitiveness of the European transport industries and achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate-and-environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society.

Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights.

Please visit http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/about-us/invest-in-us for more details about investment opportunities.

Please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com and Hybrid Air Vehicles on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on Instagram.

For images, please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/press/image-downloads.

For general media enquiries, contact Chris Daniels, Head of Partnerships and Communications at chris.daniels@hybridairvehicles.net or on 01234 336415.
 

Back to News Archive

Also in About Us

Useful Site Links

Aircraft Airlander Club Careers




Get In Touch

Call us today for further information +44 (0)1234 336400 or you can email us on info@hybridairvehicles.net

Invest In Us

Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited is a privately held UK company and at this stage in our development we undertake periodic fundraising activities. Please click here for further information.
Invest in us

Our Sponsors

Latest News

Technicians Inspect the Hull on Airlander – Maintaining the World’s Largest Aircraft
The first full inspection of Airlander’s hull was completed this week by HAV’s team of aerospace technicians as part of ongoing analysis during the Flight Test Progamme. This was the first annual yearly check of the hull surface as a part of its flight test programme.  Simple but spectacular access techniques are now proven and Airlander passed its inspection with flying colours.   Airlander is ready to demonstrate its airborne capability to its customers as its flight programme continues. Airlander is in a class of its own in the most useful capability of payload x endurance – which is vital to patrol, search, surveillance and communications roles. Technicians recently completed a full hull inspection of Airlander using simple, safe and spectacular rope access techniques developed to make maintaining our unique aircraft routine. As expected, no major problems were found and Airlander got the thumbs up to continue its flight test programme.  This was the first time this access process has been used outside on the hull following development inside our hangar. This technique is key to enabling Airlander to demonstrate its ability to be maintained outside, without need for a permanent hangar.     We now benefit from remarkably easy access to all the upper surfaces and systems of the Airlander, using the same ascender system as the technician team uses for routine engine maintenance and inspection. Airlander is 26m tall (around the same height as four stacked double decker buses) which means that great care and thought has been put into maintenance techniques. Safety ropes are permanently attached to the hull and our technicians undertook rigorous training to ensure the highest safety standards. Access is gained to the hull via power ascenders supplied by ActSafe, the world leaders in this kind of equipment. Safety is the priority for Airlander and we always ensure the highest standards are adhered to. “Being up on the hull is a fantastic experience – I didn’t want to come down! It was a privilege to be part of the small team that performed the scheduled safety checks. We were pleased to find no major issues, further proving Airlander’s resilience.” – Ivor Pope, Maintenance, Modification and Ground Operations Manager About Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best of the characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport. Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally-friendly. They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments. Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded both UK and European grant funding to support the Airlander project. In addition the company has carried out two ‘crowdfunding’ rounds and is proud to have more than 2000 shareholders without whom return to flight would not have been possible.  Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd was recently accepted onto London Stock Exchange’s ELITE programme for high growth companies looking to seek a listing on the Stock Market. The Airlander project was selected for funding through a dedicated SME Instrument of Horizon 2020, which the European Commission uses to invest in and support high growth and highly innovative small businesses. The technology is also fully in line with activities under the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020, which aims to boost the competitiveness of the European transport industries and achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate-and-environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society. Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights. Please visit http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/about-us/invest-in-us for more details about investment opportunities. Please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com and Hybrid Air Vehicles on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on Instagram. For images, please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/press/image-downloads. For general media enquiries, contact media@hybridairvehicles.net or call 01234 336400

Video Channel

How Collaborative Expertise Launched the Airlander Project
A video from The Institution of Engineering and Technology explaining how Hybrid Air Vehicles has been working with Forward Composites to apply decades of race-bred British carbon composite expertise in the development and manufacture of the revolutionary Airlander.
RT @ChocolateFilms: Airy shoot @AirVehicles for @UKAeroInstitute today #Airlander #openspace #Bedford https://t.co/bMfjXVDMIp
We wish the best for #AlevelResultsDay tomorrow! Here's some #Airlander-themed #STEM inspiration for the next step.… https://t.co/1i52FTtA5o
RT @WeAreFINN: Technicians inspect the hull on #Airlander: Maintaining the world’s largest aircraft https://t.co/euD0RkbSrY